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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For Quintessentially British brand, with stunning sound and drop-dead looks

Against More GT than sports car; reliability and build-quality problems

Verdict Looks fabulous, sounds fantastic, but could be better to drive

Go for… DB9

Avoid… Not applicable

Aston Martin DB9 Volante
  • 1. Rear legroom is virtually non-existent, so this is effectively just a two-seater
  • 2. If the clutch gives off a strong burning smell, it could be a sign of problems that will be costly to fix
  • 3. Make sure that any service history is complete, and that recall work on the parking brake has been done
  • 4. The boot is on the smallish side
  • 5. Check the car's fit and finish carefully. Complaints are far from rare
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Aston Martin DB9 Volante full review with expert trade views

Aston had a hard job replacing the DB7, but some believe the DB9 is even more striking. This is an all-new car with the exception of the V12 engine, but power has risen to 450bhp, giving 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds.

Inside, you’ll find a new, bespoke interior, which does away with the old Ford-sourced switchgear. Everything feels modern and dynamic. The dashboard is matt wood and aluminium, while the rest of the cabin is leather and carpet.

The DB9 is at its best on flat, smooth A-roads, where it is composed and grippy. It becomes unruly on anything bumpier, and the ride is on the sharp side of firm, even on the motorway.

Realistically, there’s no usable space in the back, so this is essentially a two-seater. The boot’s also very small and the 200-mile range of the fuel tank may frustrate you.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Highly sought after. Build quality improved over DB7 but still not 100%

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

This DB9 only comes in one flavour - V12 - so you’re down to looking at the various optional extras fitted when the car was built. There are 20 colours of paint, 20 hues of leather and eight shades of carpet to select from. However, in other respects, the car isn’t as fully equipped as some which cost just two-thirds its price.

The DB9 is available with either a manual or six-speed automatic gearbox. The latter also functions as a paddle-shift manual. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work very well.

Because of the exclusivity factor, the best used DB9s tend to be with dealers, although independent garages can be a source of slightly cheaper cars. When it comes to competition, the Aston doesn’t really have any. You could go the Italian supercar route, but that’s likely to cost even more. The sensible Porsche may feel sterile in comparison, although it will be cheaper.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Stunning looks and performance. Still too new to judge reliability. Hefty price tag

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

The UK only receives about 360 DB9s a year, so prices are likely to remain high for the foreseeable future. Naturally, the car will be costly to run. Service intervals are every 7500 miles and Aston dealers have a reputation for handing out large bills.

The official fuel consumption figure is 17.1mpg. However if you try really hard, or spend all your time crawling around town, you could see high teens.

If you live in a built-up area or don’t have a squeaky-clean no claims bonus, you can expect your insurance premium to rise to a four-figure sum.

If you plan to drive a DB9 as it was intended, you’ll need to replace the tyres on a regular basis. Main dealers are expensive, so the best bet could be an independent specialist.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Highly sought after. Build quality improved over DB7 but still not 100%

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

The DB9 does have some reliability issues. Most of them tend to be about general build quality, but the fancy Linn stereo has also caused the odd problem, with some units malfunctioning and then needing replacement. In addition, there have been cases of other electrical gremlins, such as faulty tyre pressure gauges.

The V12 is tried and tested, although there are stories of the engine management light coming on for no apparent reason. There have also been engine and gearbox failures, although these appear to be rare. Clutch problems have also been noted. Many owners complain about the fit and finish of the cabin, with numerous squeaks and rattles developing.

If you're buying a car that’s still within its two-year unlimited mileage warranty, all failures should be covered. Just make sure the service history’s complete and the parking brake recall work has been carried out.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Stunning looks and performance. Still too new to judge reliability. Hefty price tag

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing
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